Onésime Reclus

Onésime Reclus (22 September 1837[1] – 30 June 1916) was a French geographer who specialized in the relations between France and its colonies.

Onésime Reclus (1837–1916)

In 1880 he coined the term "Francophonie" as a means of classification of peoples of the world, being determined by the language they all spoke.[2] While this term did not appear in dictionaries until 1930, it has become more important since the late 20th century as part of conceptual rethinking of cultures and geography.[3]

Early life and educationEdit

Onésime was born as the middle of five sons of Jacques Reclus (1796–1882), a Protestant minister, and his wife. His brothers also became notable in their fields. His family had moved to Orthez from Sainte-Foy-la-Grande, where at least one of his brothers was born. His next older and younger brothers both became geographers:

CareerEdit

Reclus became a geographer. He was particularly interested in France and its colonies, which was the subject of his first book, published in 1873. By this time, France's colonies in Africa were more important than those in the Caribbean, and it had lost or given up those in North America by the early 19th century. But its history of deep involvement in colonial development in North America continued to influence its politics.

From 1869, Reclus was a member of the Société de Géographie. He was a contributor to the journal Tour du monde.[4]

In 1880 Reclus coined the term "Francophonie" as a means of classification of peoples of the world who spoke the French language.[5] He believed that people were connected by their language and culture, for instance, the continental French as well as French speakers in the Caribbean and Africa. While this term did not appear in dictionaries until 1930, it has become more important since the late 20th century as part of conceptual rethinking by historians, geographers, anthropologists and others of cultures and geography. For instance, there has been study of the state of Louisiana, and especially the city of New Orleans, as places of strong French-language culture.[6]

Reclus continued to be interested in issues related to France and its colonies, publishing a book on France and Algeria in 1886.

Selected writingsEdit

  • Géographie de la France et de ses colonies, 1873
  • Géographie : La Terre à vol d’oiseau, 1877
  • France, Algérie et colonies, 1886
  • À la France : sites et monuments, 1900–1906
  • Lâchons l’Asie, prenons l’Afrique : Où renaître ? et comment durer ?, 1904
  • Atlas pittoresque de la France, recueil de vues géographiques et pittoresques de tous les départements, accompagnées de notices géographiques et de légendes explicatives, 1910–1912.[7]

Marriage and familyEdit

He married and had a family. One of their sons was the noted historian Maurice Reclus [fr] (1883–1972).

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Christophe Brun, Federico Ferretti, « Élisée Reclus, une chronologie familiale 1796-2014 »
  2. ^ Lawrence D. Kritzman, Brian J. Reilly, M. B. DeBevoise, The Columbia History Of Twentieth-Century French Thought by
  3. ^ Alexander B. Murphy, "Placing Louisiana in the Francophone World: Opportunities and Challenges" Archived 10 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine, published in Atlantic Studies, Volume 5, Issue 3, 2008; Special Issue: New Orleans in the Atlantic World, II, accessed 7 April 2013
  4. ^ Les parlementaires de la Seine sous la Troisième République, by Jean Marie Mayeur, Arlette Schweitz
  5. ^ Lawrence D. Kritzman, Brian J. Reilly, M. B. DeBevoise, The Columbia History Of Twentieth-Century French Thought by
  6. ^ Alexander B. Murphy, "Placing Louisiana in the Francophone World: Opportunities and Challenges" Archived 10 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine, published in Atlantic Studies, Volume 5, Issue 3, 2008; Special Issue: New Orleans in the Atlantic World, II, accessed 7 April 2013
  7. ^ Societes savantes (publications)